NSF Environmental Sustainability Grant on Distributed Energy Storage

With Prof. Johanna Mathieu and Postdoctoral Fellow Yashen Lin, we were awarded a three-year NSF grant entitled “Environmental Impacts of Using Distributed Energy Storage for Power System Reserves.”  An overview of the project is provided below

Overview:  The objective of this project is to investigate the environmental impacts of using distributed energy storage (DES) for power system reserves and to develop operational strategies to mitigate the environmental burdens of the system. As more renewable energy sources are integrated into the power system, additional reserves are required to ensure the functionality and reliability of the system. DES is a promising alternative to generators for providing such reserves because, in general, these resources are more responsive than conventional power plants and costs are increasingly competitive. Due to their low emissions during operation, DES systems are often assumed to reduce environmental impacts. However, due to the complex nature of the power system, the use of DES may lead to negative outcomes under certain system configurations, generation mixes, and reserve requirements. Thus, it is important to thoroughly evaluate the environmental impacts of introducing DES for reserves. Using life cycle assessment (LCA), we will investigate the full environmental impact of providing reserves with DES. Additionally, we will develop a reduced-form LCA that can provide real-time feedback on environmental impacts to power system operators.